Patrick Kaleta will be a Buffalo Sabre for another two years. If his career keeps progressing the way it has been, I am quite content continuing to bring back one of the biggest pests in the league.
The smartest thing the Sabres have done in the past few years was part ways with Peters, I think Kaleta provides much more in the ways of grit and definitely scoring. I am also glad to see one of the Sabres RFAs avoid arbitration.
Kaleta spoke about this process on WGR before reports of the deal became available, and he said that from what he heard from guys is that arbitration leaves a bad taste in guys mouths because the teams they are up against have to air all the dirty laundry about a guy as reason why they shouldn’t have to pay him. Kaleta’s arbitration date was scheduled for the 29th, Kennedy still has time left on his clock, as he isn’t scheduled to appear before arbitration until the 27th.
Kovie is a free agent again, and in some respects Ithink this is a good thing and in some respects I think it is just delaying the inevitable. There are plenty of other similar contracts that the Devils and the NHLPA can reference that are similar to Koalchuck’s and have been allowed to pass. Somewhere the league needs to put its foot down and eliminate these practices that will bury small market teams once again.
So all of these thoughts poured into my head on my drive home today, and I had a better post for them all planned out- and then I heard Darcy Regier speak on the Kaleta signing, free agency, and the Kovie situation.
I want to focus on his comments on the free agency.
We all know at the end of last season, angry Darcy Regier was available to the press and he explicitly mentioned “changes”. Now we have been hearing that word alot around this team lately, and so far its been all talk and not a lot of action.
What I am impressed with, is Darcy Regier did not fall back on the “well we have made changes” comments that he also has; citing Jordan Leopold and Rob Nediermayer. He could have easily done that. What he did say was that the Sabres did try and go after two players that would have helped changed this team, and were either at the number the players wanted, or above it; but one decided to move closer to home, and the other stayed put.
What I don’t think will make this team better, is the notion that as a coaching staff they have spent more time with their current players. Wrong answer to my ears Darcy! How much more time should we give Derek Roy, Drew Stafford, Tim Connolly?
Ok, I am in. I’ll give you one more year. I might have to go on an exodus next year and find a new team though if I get the same old same old. But then again, I’ve been there before too, and come September, something always keeps me Blue and Gold.